Anyone who has ever bought or sold real estate should be familiar with the concept of staging a home. The idea is simple: reduce the clutter, maximize the space and dress the home up to look its best for showing off.

I caught a short piece on the rise in squatters living illegally in uninhabited mansions that were up for sale that was put together by Showhomes, a rather large professional staging company with franchises opened up across the country. Showhomes not only offers home staging services, it also allows homeowners to find “Home Managers” who will actually come and live in a staged home to keep it occupied. Not only will the home be safe from squatters, it will stay lived-in, with the Home Managers almost acting as props to go along with the staging furniture.

The concept of the Home Managers is win-win. The Home Manager actually pays to live in the otherwise unoccupied home (at a significantly reduced rate), and the homeowners get that lived-in look that makes it easier to sell the home. You can check out the short Travel Channel spot on the topic here.

Home Managing seems like a great option for an individual or family that has already been displaced or is looking to live in the lap of luxury for seriously cheap rent. The downside is that you can be kicked out at any time when the home actually finds a buyer. I guess as long as you’re willing to travel to wherever the next home to Manage is located, it’s a great gig.

Would you ever pay to be a Home Manager? If you were selling a home you no longer lived in, would you have a Home Manager live there?